Councils’ reactions to the proposed Eyre Peninsula football coordinator role to be established by the SANFL have been mixed.
The SANFL is looking to employ a coordinator per region, whose role will be varied but with the core outcome of helping clubs and leagues develop their volunteers.
It is looking to the local leagues and councils to help fund the new position, with the 10 Eyre Peninsula councils being asked to contribute $2000 per year for three years and leagues asked to contribute $5000.
The Far West, Port Lincoln, Great Flinders and Eastern Eyre football leagues are supporting the proposal, with SANFL representatives yet to meet with Mid West Football League.
Councils at Ceduna, Streaky Bay, Wudinna and Elliston discussed the matter at recent meetings, with Ceduna the only council to support the funding proposal.
However, Ceduna’s support was dependent on all other bodies agreeing to the proposal and both Streaky Bay and Wudinna rejected the model proposed by the SANFL, while Elliston remains undecided.
Ceduna council chief executive officer Geoffrey Moffatt said that meant Ceduna’s support had lapsed, but it would consider another proposal from the SANFL.
“Council’s contribution was conditional on all other funding partners putting money in, so if one other won’t contribute then that’s the end of it,” he said.
“Council recognises the impact football has on communities and would consider another proposal from SANFL.”
Streaky Bay mayor Travis Barber said the council felt there was already enough support for the sport in regional centres.
“The AFL already gives money towards outback regional football and we felt it is supported enough that at this time it did not warrant us going for the proposal.”
Mr Barber said an alternative proposal would be looked at by the council.
Wudinna mayor Eleanor Scholz said while sport in the region was valued, the decision to reject the proposal was cost-related.
Council recognises the impact football has on communities and would consider another proposal from SANFL.District Council of Ceduna chief executive officer Geoffrey Moffatt
She also said expecting an answer before the SANFL spoke to Mid West had caught the council cold.
“We felt that we couldn’t just support one organisation – if we spent money on football we would have to spend on other leagues too,” she said.
“Clubs already pay fees to the league and we didn’t want them spending more money, plus we also weren’t aware of discussions with clubs from the organisation.
“It was a premature request from SANFL without having spoken to the Mid West league and for us to have a look at it again we would need more information and for it to be discussed with Mid West.”
A motion to support the proposal was withdrawn at Elliston and council chairman Kym Callaghan said the SANFL would need to provide more information.
“It is up to SANFL to come and do a presentation for us, we are a bit skeptical since they have money yet are wanting councils to put money in,” he said.
“They way it was done was a bit of a mystery, they had a blanket approach to the EPLGA (Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association) and we said it should be up to individual councils to decide.
“We can’t see what they can do for us out here, but until they come to tell us what they will do we can’t make a decision.”
SANFL community football manager Matthew Duldig said he was still confident the coordinator position could be created.
“We’ll continue to work with leagues, clubs and councils to progress the position and structure of Eyre Peninsula football,” he said.
“We won’t take our eyes off the main goal which is to have the coordinator position.
“We will have discussions with councils in the upcoming months.”
Mr Duldig said SANFL would like to have a close working relationship with the councils given how important the sport is to the region.
Far West Football League president Ron Redford has been a supporter of the introduction of the coordinator role and said he remained hopeful it could be created.